MEDIABALAP.com (Jakarta) – With the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrating its Centenary on 10-11 June 2023, the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be a historic occasion. The provisional list of the 186 drivers set to take part is revealed today, Friday 5 May.
A remarkable field of 62 cars, representing the present and the future of endurance, will line up for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans – a splendid accolade for an event celebrating its 100th anniversary this June.
An exceptional grid
No fewer than 16 Hypercars from seven different manufacturers will contest the top class. The race for overall victory will therefore play out between Porsche, Peugeot, Ferrari, Vanwall, Glickenhaus, Toyota and Cadillac, constructors that have made a mark on motorsport history. With recent 24 Hours of Le Mans legends such as Sébastien Buemi (four wins), André Lotterer (three wins) and Romain Dumas (twice winner and distance record holder) taking part, the Hypercar class will stage an amazing spectacle.
A closely fought battle in store in LMP2
As usual, an intense 24-hour battle is shaping up in the LMP2 class. With top-notch teams such as Jota, United Autosports, Prema Racing, Team WRT and Alpine Elf Team among their ranks, the 24 competitors promise a high standard of competition in a class combining burgeoning talent and veterans boasting impressive track records. It brings together the explosive flair of 17-year-old youngster Josh Pierson and Charles Milesi, who has already a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win under his belt, and the experience of Simon Pagenaud, Nicolas Lapierre and 2016 winner Neel Jani.
The LMGTE Am field at the heart of the action
The crowd can rely on the LMGTE Am class to set the 91st 24 Hours of Le Mans alight! With some memorable tussles over the years, it is hardly surprising that this category is so popular with the spectators. This year, 21 line-ups from all over the world will vie for a spot on the Le Mans podium. Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender continues to live his racing dream after a début appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022. Of course, the habitual stars of GT – including Ben Keating, Daniel Serra and Richard Lietz – will all be present, hoping to make their experience tell.
A strong female challenge
At the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Lilou Wadoux became the first woman to clinch a class win in the FIA WEC. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, four others will be striving to add their names to the race winners’ roster. Doriane Pin has showed great pace in the Prema Racing LMP2 prototype in the early stages of the season. Meanwhile, in LMGTE Am, the Iron Dames trio of Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey have the skill to whip up the fervour of the crowd and go all the way to the podium.
Several former Formula One racers are continuing the tradition of switching to endurance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary. Since the premier single-seater championship was created in 1950, a host of heroes have taken up the Le Mans challenge and 2023 will be no exception. For instance, Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 World F1 Champion, will line up in the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team Hypercar entry. The 2009 World Champion Jenson Button will also be on the grid, at the wheel of the Henrick Motorsports NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In addition to these two living legends, Antonio Giovinazzi, Paul Di Resta, Robert Kubica and many more will be looking to steal the limelight at this exceptional event.
A NASCAR at the 24 Hours
A NASCAR has joined the adventure for this milestone edition. In Garage 56, fans will enjoy the sight – and sound – of a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 very similar to the one that contests the prestigious American championship. Henrick Motorsports have lined up three big names to share the wheel. Jenson Button will be accompanied by 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson, seven-time winner of the NASCAR championship in a Chevrolet. A tremendous US-style show is in store!